1-on-1: Pins & Juice
Armando Horváth and Bram Westland established Pins & Juice in 2017 in order to translate contemporary urban culture into all kinds of items for personalizing clothing and accessories. Below, the duo give the low down on the inspirations behind their designs. Come check out their pop-up stall at MERGE FEST ‘18.
The Amsterdam-based brand focuses mainly on embellishments like pins, patches, stickers and buttons, and works around two main themes. With ‘Culture’, Bram and Armando reference music, food, drinks & drugs, while they dip into nostalgia for their ‘Youth’ range; often you’ll find these two inspirations fused together.
Armando & Bram: “We started Pins & Juice out of a DIY sentiment and a passion for the individualization of clothing and accessories. The products we design are an expression of our personal interests, the community we are part of and the subcultures we feel attracted to.
Individuality and exclusiveness are two of the pillars of our brand. We put this into practice by releasing small quantities, and by giving the customer room for their individual interpretation of our items.
We use the ampersand symbol (&) as our logo, because Pins & Juice is all about inclusivity. It doesn’t matter if you are young of old, your gender, or where you come from, our products are for anyone who feels related to them.
We are always open to suggestions and for collaborations, we’ve made pins for the likes of Encore, Chicago Social Club, Notorious, Rock the Boat, and Ozsi Park. Anyone is free to contact us if they have a dope idea.”
This is one of the first pins we made. A lot of people around us blow the load, and use papers from the brand Smoking. We thought it would be cool to make a pin from that design. I mean, everybody knows the look of these packs, it’s an iconic thing in the scene that we are in.
Armando: These trolls were a big part of our childhood. These funny looking guys with weird long hair, you gotta love ‘em. Girls had Barbie, boys had Action Man, but the trolls were for us both haha.
Bram: When I was young I used to draw on them with markers and that inspired us to give this Yung Troll pin that SoundCloud rapper look.
Water Gun x Jacin Trill
Jacin was really enthusiastic about our pins and he approached us to design a pin for him. So we made the Water Gun pin, as a refference to his big hit “kspreyopjebytch”. The pin comes with the “Happyland” sticker, the title of his first album.
Armando: pew pew pew pew
Bram: I just smoke Kretek cigarettes, no other. I prefer the brand “Sampoerna”.
Armando: I prefer the Kretek brand “Djarum”, so we decided to mash up the two designs of these cigarette packages and turn them into one design and made the pin.
Armando: Everybody knows the “Yum Yum” noodles. Fuck Cup-A-Soup, You gotta stack them Yum Yums up in your kitchen cabinet and never run out of them. You can eat them as breakfast, lunch and diner hahaha.
Bram: We just love to eat them and the most known one is the chicken flavour. So again, we decided to make a pin out of it. Twisted “Yum Yum” into “Sum Sum”, because we all need a lil’ Sum Sum you know.
Armando: We’re both into special sodas from all around the globe (so if you know some nice ones, hook us up!)
Bram: But the Fernandes Blue is our favorite, originally from Suriname. We eat a lot of spicy food and this soda really compliments the taste.
Colorful’s design and philosophy really suits ours, so we teamed up with the homies from there to make this – literally – Colorful pin.
Armando: I used to be a paperboy back in the day, and during my route I was always listening to Gucci Mane on my discman. You know, skeeming Kazaa for MP3s and burning my own CDs with Nero. I think only 80’s and early 90’s babies will know haha. I’ve been a Gucci Mane fan from the get go, long time before he blew up, I even been to Atlanta and bought some original mixtapes. We don’t even have to talk about his career, we all know Gucci is the father of a lot of rappers these days. Burrr.
Bram: We really wanted to do something with another toy from our childhood, the Tamagotchi. And at a certain moment we were chillin’ at Armando’s couch, not really brainstorming, but “TamaGucci Mane” just popped up in my head. The name of the product was born, the design followed soon after. Gucci has always been a legend and I actually started following him through Armando.
Bram: Another cult item from our youth. Duck Hunt, the game the Zapper was used for, was really a thing in that late 80s/early 90s. A whole new type of gaming was introduced by shooting at the ducks shown on your own TV, and the gun itself has a very iconic look. Perfect for a Pins & Juice design!
Armando: Since the NES (Nintendo 8-bit) I have been hooked on the Nintendo systems. The SNES (Super Nintendo) and the Gameboy Classic followed soon after. My best friend back in the days had the NES and when I turned 4 my parents gave me the SNES. Today I’m still into retro gaming and I own a lot of consoles, from the NES, SNES, N64, Gameboy Classic, to Sega’s, Atari’s etc. You will see some more products in the future that are linked with the NES and SNES.